The Portland Trail Blazers have been one of the hottest teams in the NBA of late, and they will look for their fifth straight win when they take on the Chicago Bulls. Chicago doesn’t really have anything to play for these days, and losses will actually help them in the NBA Draft Lottery. Portland has beaten the Bulls four straight times dating back to the 2016-17 season, including a 12 point victory this season.
The Trail Blazers have moved up into the third spot in the Western Conference, and are hoping to stay there. Portland comes into this game with a record of 46-27, but have gone just 17-18 away from home. Chicago brings a 21-54 record into this game, which is the fourth worst record in the NBA. The Bulls have been in full on tank mode for the last few weeks. The Trail Blazers are a -4.5 point favorite in this game.
Blazers Playing Without Nurkic
The Portland Trail Blazers suffered a tough blow earlier this week when center Jusuf Nurkic was lost for the season with a gruesome leg injury. Nurkic was having the best year of his short career, averaging 15.6 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. The Blazers do have some depth with center Enes Kanter on the roster, but this is a big blow. Look for some other players to step up and try to fill the void.
Portland is one of the highest scoring teams in the NBA this season, averaging 114.6 points per game. The backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum is one of the best in the league, and they can really light it up. Lillard leads the team with 26.4 points per game, while McCollum has chipped in with more than 21 points per night. Look for these two players to step up their game for the remainder of the season.
Bulls Resting Key Players
The Chicago Bulls haven’t been a good team this season, and now they are resting some of their better players. Rookie Wendell Carter Jr. has been shut down for the remainder of the season, and they are already without several of their best guards. Chicago has had a real tough time scoring this season, averaging just 105.3 points per game. The Bulls are going to have to find a way to score points to keep up with the Trail Blazers.
Point guard Zach LaVine and forward Lauri Markkanen will remain in the lineup for the Bulls, and they have been doing plenty of scoring of late. LaVine leads the team with 23.7 points per game this season and looks like a future star in Chicago. Markkanen has been terrific since coming into the league and can stretch defenses with his three-point shooting. Both players are shooting better than 36 percent from deep this season and will need to get hot in this game.
Portland Blows Out Chicago
Even though the Trail Blazers have struggled on the road this season, this shouldn’t be much of a challenge for Portland. The Bulls have been a bad team all season long, and they aren’t getting any better. Chicago is ready for this season to end, and they are no match for the Trail Blazers. Bet the Portland Trail Blazers -4.5 over the Chicago Bulls in this game.